Google has recently released a brand new version of Google Earth for both Chrome and Android. This new version has come with a slew of nifty features teachers can use for educational purposes with students in class. Following is a quick overview of the most fascinating features…
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From DSC: In terms of learning, having to be in the same physical place as others continues to not be a requirement nearly as much as it used to be. But I’m not just talking about online learning here. I’m talking about a new type of learning environment that involves both hardware and software to facilitate collaboration (and it was designed that way from day 1). These new types of setups can provide us with new opportunities and affordances that we should begin experimenting with immediately.
Check out the following products — all of which allow a person to contribute to a discussion or conversation from anywhere they can get Internet access:
When you go to those sites, you will see words and phrase such as:
Visual collaboration software
A visual collaboration solution that links locations, teams, content, and devices in an immersive, shared workspace
Create and brainstorm with others
Digital workplace platform
Eliminate the distance between in-office and remote employees
Jumpstart spontaneous brainstorms and working sessions
So using these types of software and hardware setups, I can contribute regardless of where I’m located. Remote learning — from anywhere in the world — being combined with our face-to-face based classrooms.
Also, the push for Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) continues across higher education. Such hands-on, project-learning based, student-centered approaches fit extremely well with the collaboration setups mentioned above.
“…video conferencing is increasingly an application within in a larger workflow…”
Lastly, if colleges and universities don’t have the funds to maintain their physical plants, look for higher education to move increasingly online — and these types of solutions could play a significant role in that environment. Plus, for working adults who need to reinvent themselves, this is an extremely efficient means of picking up some new skills and competencies.
So the growth of these types of setups — where the software and hardware work together to support worldwide collaboration — will likely create a powerful, new, emerging piece of our learning ecosystems.
Remote learning — from anywhere in the world — being combined with our face-to-face based classrooms.
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Just like a video game, users of the GPS need only follow green arrows projected as if onto the road in front of the car providing visual directions. More importantly, because the system displays on the windscreen, it does not require a cumbersome headset or eyewear worn by the driver. It integrates directly into the dashboard of the car.
The system also recognizes simple voice and gesture commands from the driver — eschewing turning of knobs or pressing buttons. The objective of the system is to allow the driver to spend more time paying attention to the road, with hands on the wheel. Many modern-day onboard GPS systems also recognize voice commands but require the driver to glance over at a screen.
Viro Media is supplying a platform of their own and their hope is to be the simplest experience where companies can code once and have their content available on multiple mobile platforms. We chatted with Viro Media CEO Danny Moon about the tool and what creators can expect to accomplish with it.
Virtual reality can transport us to new places, where we can experience new worlds and people, like no other. It is a whole new medium poised to change the future of gaming, education, health care and enterprise. Today we are starting a new series to help you discover what this new technology promises. With the help of our friends at RadioPublic, we are curating a quick library of podcasts related to virtual reality technology.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Virtual reality is no longer reserved for entertainment and gamers, its helping solve real-world problems. Some of the latest advancements are being demonstrated at South by Southwest.
Dr. Skip Rizzo directs the Medical Virtual Reality Lab at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies. He’s helping veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He’s up teamed with Dell to develop and spread the technology to more people.
At NVIDIA Jetson TX2 launch [on March 7, 2017], in San Francisco, [NVIDIA] showed how the platform not only accelerates AI computing, graphics and computer vision, but also powers the workflows used to create VR content. Artec 3D debuted at the event the first handheld scanner offering real-time 3D capture, fusion, modeling and visualization on its own display or streamed to phones and tablets.
Project Empathy A collection of virtual reality experiences that help us see the world through the eyes of another
Benefit Studio’s virtual reality series, Project Empathy is a collection of thoughtful, evocative and surprising experiences by some of the finest creators in entertainment, technology and journalism.
Each film is designed to create empathy through a first-person experience–from being a child inside the U.S. prison system to being a widow cast away from society in India. Individually, each of the films in this series presents its filmmaker’s unique vision, portraying an intimate experience through the eyes of someone whose story has been lost or overlooked and yet is integral to the larger story of our global society. Collectively, these creatively distinct films weave together a colorful tapestry of what it means to be human today.
Most introductory geology professors teach students about earthquakes by assigning readings and showing diagrams of tectonic plates and fault lines to the class. But Paul Low is not most instructors.
“You guys can go wherever you like,” he tells a group of learners. “I’m going to go over to the epicenter and fly through and just kind of get a feel.”
Low is leading a virtual tour of the Earth’s bowels, directly beneath New Zealand’s south island, where a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck last November. Outfitted with headsets and hand controllers, the students are “flying” around the seismic hotbed and navigating through layers of the Earth’s surface.
Low, who taught undergraduate geology and environmental sciences and is now a research associate at Washington and Lee University, is among a small group of profs-turned-technologists who are experimenting with virtual reality’s applications in higher education.
“As virtual reality moves more towards the mainstream through the development of new, more affordable consumer technologies, a way needs to be found for students to translate what they learn in academic situations into careers within the industry,” says Frankie Cavanagh, a lecturer at Northumbria University. He founded a company called Somniator last year with the aim not only of developing VR games, but to provide a bridge between higher education and the technology sector. Over 70 students from Newcastle University, Northumbria University and Gateshead College in the UK have been placed so far through the program, working on real games as part of their degrees and getting paid for additional work commissioned.
Working with VR already translates into an extraordinarily diverse range of possible career paths, and those options are only going to become even broader as the industry matures in the next few years.
Customer service just got a lot more interesting. Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar just announced official availability of what they’re calling the CAT LIVESHARE solution to customer support, which builds augmented reality capabilities into the platform. They’ve partnered with Scope AR, a company who develops technical support and training documentation tools using augmented reality. The CAT LIVESHARE support system uses Scope AR’s Remote AR software as the backbone.
The headlines for Pokémon GO were initially shocking, but by now they’re familiar: as many as 21 million active daily users, 700,000 downloads per day, $5.7 million in-app purchases per day, $200 million earned as of August. Analysts anticipate the game will garner several billion dollars in ad revenue over the next year. By almost any measure, Pokémon GO is huge.
The technologies behind the game, augmented and virtual reality (AVR), are huge too. Many financial analysts expect the technology to generate $150 billion over the next three years, outpacing even smartphones with unprecedented growth, much of it in entertainment. But AVR is not only about entertainment. In August 2015, Teegan Lexcen was born in Florida with only half a heart and needed surgery. With current cardiac imaging software insufficient to assist with such a delicate operation on an infant, surgeons at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami turned to 3D imaging software and a $20 Google Cardboard VR set. They used a cellphone to peer into the baby’s heart, saw exactly how to improve her situation and performed the successful surgery in December 2015.
“I could see the whole heart. I could see the chest wall,” Dr. Redmond Burke told Today. “I could see all the things I was worried about in creating an operation.”
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock and San Diego State University are both part of a Pearson mixed reality pilot aimed at leveraging mixed reality to solve challenges in nursing education.
At Bryn Mawr College, a women’s liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, faculty, students, and staff are exploring various educational applications for the HoloLens mixed reality devices. They are testing Skype for HoloLens to connect students with tutors in Pearson’s 24/7 online tutoring service, Smarthinking.
At Canberra Grammar School in Australia, Pearson is working with teachers in a variety of disciplines to develop holograms for use in their classrooms. The University of Canberra is partnering with Pearson to provide support for the project and evaluate the impact these holograms have on teaching and learning.
As fantastic as technologies like augmented and mixed reality may be, experiencing them, much less creating them, requires a sizable investment, financially speaking. It is just beyond the reach of consumers as well as your garage-type indie developer. AR and VR startup Zappar, however, wants to smash that perception. With ZapBox, you can grab a kit for less than a triple-A video game to start your journey towards mixed reality fun and fame. It’s Magic Leap meets Google Cardboard. Or as Zappar itself says, making Magic Leap, magic cheap!
Inspiration was Lockheed‘s goal when it asked its creative resources, led by McCann, to create the world’s first mobile group Virtual Reality experience. As one creator notes, VR now is essentially a private, isolating experience. But wouldn’t it be cool to give a busload of people the same, simultaneous VR experience? And then – just to make it really challenging – put the whole thing on wheels?
“Field Trip To Mars” is the barrier-shattering outcome of this ambitious mission.
From DSC: This is incredible! Very well done. The visual experience tracks the corresponding speeds of the bus and even turns of the bus.
The United States Department of Education (ED) has formally kicked off a new competition designed to encourage the development of virtual and augmented reality concepts for education.
Dubbed the EdSim Challenge, the competition is aimed squarely at developing students’ career and technical skills — it’s funded through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 — and calls on developers and ed tech organizations to develop concepts for “computer-generated virtual and augmented reality educational experiences that combine existing and future technologies with skill-building content and assessment. Collaboration is encouraged among the developer community to make aspects of simulations available through open source licenses and low-cost shareable components. ED is most interested in simulations that pair the engagement of commercial games with educational content that transfers academic, technical, and employability skills.”
Virtual reality boosts students’ results— from raconteur.net by Edwin Smith Virtual and augmented reality can enable teaching and training in situations which would otherwise be too hazardous, costly or even impossible in the real world
More recently, though, the concept described in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics has been bolstered by further scientific evidence. Last year, a University of Chicago study found that students who physically experience scientific concepts, such as the angular momentum acting on a bicycle wheel spinning on an axel that they’re holding, understand them more deeply and also achieve significantly improved scores in tests.
Microsoft might not have envisioned its HoloLens headset as a war helmet, but that’s not stopping Ukrainian company LimpidArmor from experimenting. Defence Blog reports that LimpidArmor has started testing military equipment that includes a helmet with Microsoft’s HoloLens headset integrated into it.
The helmet is designed for tank commanders to use alongside a Circular Review System (CRS) of cameras located on the sides of armored vehicles. Microsoft’s HoloLens gathers feeds from the cameras outside to display them in the headset as a full 360-degree view. The system even includes automatic target tracking, and the ability to highlight enemy and allied soldiers and positions.
Bring your VR to work— from itproportal.com by Timo Elliott, Josh Waddell 4 hours ago With all the hype, there’s surprisingly little discussion of the latent business value which VR and AR offer.
With all the hype, there’s surprisingly little discussion of the latent business value which VR and AR offer — and that’s a blind spot that companies and CIOs can’t afford to have. It hasn’t been that long since consumer demand for the iPhone and iPad forced companies, grumbling all the way, into finding business cases for them. Gartner has said that the next five to ten years will bring “transparently immersive experiences” to the workplace. They believe this will introduce “more transparency between people, businesses, and things” and help make technology “more adaptive, contextual, and fluid.”
If digitally enhanced reality generates even half as much consumer enthusiasm as smartphones and tablets, you can expect to see a new wave of consumerisation of IT as employees who have embraced VR and AR at home insist on bringing it to the workplace. This wave of consumerisation could have an even greater impact than the last one. Rather than risk being blindsided for a second time, organisations would be well advised to take a proactive approach and be ready with potential business uses for VR and AR technologies by the time they invade the enterprise.
In Gartner’s latest emerging technologies hype cycle, Virtual Reality is already on the Slope of Enlightenment, with Augmented Reality following closely.
One place where students are literally immersed in VR is at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). ETC offers a two-year Master of Entertainment Technology program (MET) launched in 1998 and cofounded by the late Randy Pausch, author of “The Last Lecture.”
MET starts with an intense boot camp called the “immersion semester” in which students take a Building Virtual Worlds (BVW) course, a leadership course, along with courses in improvisational acting, and visual storytelling. Pioneered by Pausch, BVW challenges students in small teams to create virtual reality worlds quickly over a period of two weeks, culminating in a presentation festival every December.
Apple patents augmented reality mapping system for iPhone — from appleinsider.com by Mikey Campbell Apple on Tuesday was granted a patent detailing an augmented reality mapping system that harnesses iPhone hardware to overlay visual enhancements onto live video, lending credence to recent rumors suggesting the company plans to implement an iOS-based AR strategy in the near future.
Virtual reality is a combination of life-like images, effects and sounds that creates an imaginary world in front of our eyes.
But what if we could also imitate more complex sensations like the feeling of falling rain, a beating heart or a cat walking? What if we could distinguish, between a light sprinkle and a heavy downpour in a virtual experience?
Disney Research?—?a network of research laboratories supporting The Walt Disney Company, has announced the development of a 360-degree virtual reality application offering a library of feel effects and full body sensations.
Literature class meets virtual reality — from blog.cospaces.io by Susanne Krause Not every student finds it easy to let a novel come to life in their imagination. Could virtual reality help? Tiffany Capers gave it a try: She let her 7th graders build settings from Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” with CoSpaces and explore them in virtual reality. And: they loved it.
After generations of peering into a microscope to examine cells, scientists could simply stroll straight through one.
Calling his project the “stuff of science fiction,” director of the 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) John McGhee is letting people come face-to-face with a breast cancer cell.
This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, but if I missed something major, please tell me and I’ll add it. Also, please reach out if you’re working on anything cool in this space à sarah(at)accomplice(dot)co.
Hand and finger tracking, gesture interfaces, and grip simulation:
Every year, National Geographic opens its nature photography contest to photography lovers all around the world, with four categories: Landscape, Environmental Issues, Action and Animal Portraits. A perfect occasion for people who are passionate about nature to enjoy unusual or majestic scenes. The winner of the Grand Prize will win a 10-days trip for two in the Galápagos as well as two online portfolios with National Geographic.
Few disciplines in today’s world play such a significant role in how society operates and what we can do to protect our future. Few fields of study can play such a profound role in protecting people’s lives on a daily basis, whether you realize it or not. And few can bring together so many disparate ideas, from sciences to social sciences to humanities to the arts, like the study of the Earth can.
Here are some of the ways that taking a course in the geology will impact your life for the rest of it.
… Climate: Now, so far I’ve talked about all the fun parts of geology. However, if you’re looking for work that is important to you, your family and society across the planet, geology is the place to be. First off, geology is ground zero for understanding climate change across the history of Earth. We’ve been studying the variation in the planet’s ecosystems for two centuries now (heck, paleontology helped start the discipline) and can look back billions of years to see how the climate has varied. This gives us that evidence to show how much our current climate is likely in a state of distress. Geology is also how we can understand what the impact of climate change will be on our planet, both in the short- and long-term.
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Grush: Is there a signpost you might point to that would indicate that there’s going to be more product development in AR/VR/MR?
Christian: There’s a significant one. Several major players — with very deep pockets — within the corporate world are investing in new forms of HCI, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Magic Leap, and others. In fact, according to an article on engadget.com from 6/16/16, “Magic Leap has amassed an astounding $1.39 billion in funding without shipping an actual product.” So to me, it’s just not likely that the billions of dollars being invested in a variety of R&D-related efforts are simply going to evaporate without producing any impactful, concrete products or services. There are too many extremely smart, creative people working on these projects, and they have impressive financial backing behind their research and product development efforts. So, I think we can expect an array of new choices in AR/VR/MR.
Just the other day I was talking to Jason VanHorn, an associate professor in our geology, geography, and environmental studies department. After finishing our discussion about a particular learning space and how we might implement active learning in it, we got to talking about mixed reality. He related his wonderful dreams of being able to view, manipulate, maneuver through, and interact with holographic displays of our planet Earth.
When I mentioned a video piece done by Case Western and the Cleveland Clinic that featured Microsoft’s Hololens technology, he knew exactly what I was referring to. But this time, instead of being able to drill down through the human body to review, explore, and learn about the various systems composing our human anatomy, he wanted to be able to drill down through the various layers of the planet Earth. He also wanted to be able to use gestures to maneuver and manipulate the globe — turning the globe to just the right spot before using a gesture to drill down to a particular place.
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